Lost Bayou Ramblers at the French Quarter Festival
Lost Bayou Ramblers at the French Quarter Festival

French Quarter Festival is a free, annual music festival held in early April, located in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1983 with the first festival held in 1984, the festival features primarily New Orleans music, such as jazz, blues, and zydeco from hundreds of local musicians, as well as food from dozens of New Orleans restaurants.[1]

In April 2008, jazz pianist Ronnie Kole recalled the origins of the idea of creating a new event in New Orleans. In the early 1980s, the Mayor's office recruited ten people, nine business owners and one musician, to put together a new festival for the city.[2] With an estimated attendance of over 800,000 in 2019, the festival bills itself as "the world's largest showcase of Louisiana music." In 2020 and 2021, however, the event was cancelled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with hope for a return in April 2022.[3]

During French Quarter Festival, more than 20 stages throughout the French Quarter perform local music and represent genres from traditional and contemporary jazz to R&B, New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, Latin, Zydeco, classical, cabaret, and international.[4]

As of 2021, French Quarter Festival, Satchmo Summerfest, and Holidays New Orleans Style are formally overseen by the nonprofit French Quarter Festivals, Inc., which as of 2017 is led by CEO Emily Madero.[3][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Esker, Fritz (March 31, 2017). "French Quarter Festival: French Quarter Festival Board President Jeremy Thibodeaux discusses this year's fest". www.myneworleans.com/New Orleans Magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  2. ^ Spera, Keith (April 14, 2011). "French Quarter Fest attendance hit 533,000, producers say". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate/nola.com. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  3. ^ a b Spera, Keith (August 13, 2021). "2021 French Quarter Festival canceled over COVID, plans return next spring". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate/nola.com. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  4. ^ "Festival Facts | FQFI". fqfi.org. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  5. ^ CityBusiness staff reports (2017-03-30). "French Quarter Festivals names new CEO". New Orleans CityBusiness. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  6. ^ "Our Mission". French Quarter Festivals, Inc. Retrieved 2021-11-13.